10 Best Places to Swim Outdoors in South Dakota

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South Dakota is one of the most diverse states in the country. The state is divided into three major regions Black Hills, Western South Dakota, and Eastern South Dakota. The great Missouri River is also present here, which dissects it in two and separates the east and west regions.

The populated eastern region has mostly flat areas, while the western region is famous for its mountains and hills. Moreover, it also contains some of the most amazing swimming holes and beaches for the swimmers too. Some of the best ones are discussed below.

1. Angostura Reservoir Hot Springs

The Angostura Reservoir is located in the Angostura Recreation Area. This spot is full of sandy beaches and has a coastline of 36 miles. The clear water here makes it bets suit for the swimming enthusiast to cool off during hot summer days. Additionally, you can also try making some sandcastles because the sand here is perfect for it.

2. Sylvan Lake Beach

Sylvan Lake Beach is situated in Custer State Park. This lake is one of the most famous lakes in the state and is considered a gem. It is full of breathtaking views. Besides offering a great location for the swimmers, it is also great for hikers, anglers, boaters, and more. You can try some of your cliff jumping moves at the cliffs here. This beach has a family-friendly environment, so if you are looking for a place to take your kids, this is it.

3. Lewis and Clark Lake

The Lewis and Clark Lake are insider Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton. This lake is also popular for its amazing location and eye-catching sceneries. This is the favorite location of locals and the nearby people here during summer. There are numerous activities to do here, including hiking, boating, fishing, camping, etc.

4. North Point Recreation Area

The North Point Recreation Area is situated on the Missouri River to the north of Fort Randall. This recreational area has a beautiful beach and a splendid river known for its beauty and mesmerizing views. Along with swimming, you can also enjoy playing at the playground here, fishing, biking, and hiking. The campsite here is also worth exploring.

5. Cascade Falls Hot Springs

The Cascade Falls Hot Springs is near Northwest Falls River. This hot spring is great to chill and swim. It’s a great place to take your kids during summer. However, make sure you apply many sunscreens here; otherwise, you will burn your skin. And do look for the poison ivy, too, which are often found along the banks.

6. Ravine Lake

Locate in the middle of Huron; Ravine Lake is a perfect sandy beach. It is equipped with great picnic tables and gazebos. Locals and the nearby people often plan their weddings here. However, this place is a good location for swimming too.

7. Pactola Lake

Pactola Lake is famous for its azure-blue waters, which makes it a nice attraction for swimmers. It is situated in the Black Hills. It is often crowded with visitors and locals during the peak season. It has a family-friendly environment, which makes it best for families.

8. Oahe Downstream Recreation Area

Oahe Downstream Recreation Area is a huge reservoir. It is home to three campgrounds and offers plenty of opportunities for the visitors to enjoy. People visit here for swimming and other activities like hiking, playing golf at the disc golf here, and much more. People also visit here during winters to watch birds, especially eagles.

9. Mina Lake

Mina Lake is located in the northeastern region of South Dakota. This lake is considered the treasure of water lovers due to the plethora of water activities here. You can fish, boat, and swim here throughout the summer. Moreover, you will also find some campgrounds and hiking trails for those planning to stay longer and explore other things here. While visitors are just come here to picnic with their families and enjoy the picnic areas here.

10. Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

The Lake Vermillion Recreation Area is known for the red quartzite, which is found along its bank. The lake in this recreation area has sandy beaches. You can swim and relax at the beach here. The clear water also contains numerous fishing opportunities for the anglers here. That’s why it is the favorite location of the anglers too.


If you plan a swimming trip this summer, add the spots discussed above to your list and have a memorable experience.


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